This post will summarize the latest changes to the asynchronous sprint planning process, so members are aware of the different refinements and have the chance of utilizing the refinements to improve their sprint planning.
Changes have been done to different parts of the sprint planning process and its checklists.
There have been some drastic changes to the sprint planning checklist.
Below, the changes will be covered. However, if you’d like, you can view the new Sprint Planning Checklist Template on Monday.
All duplicate reminder and work-ahead tasks have been removed in favor of a single actionable-task which comes at the required deadline.
Time-frames where members have a specific period to work on their tasks have been removed.
Tasks now have a specific due date. However, you can always work-ahead on your checklist if that’s something you’re interested in.
Different low-level tasks have been combined into higher-level tasks which members can check-off at once.
Each task still has a description, which contains information about the different lower-level tasks, to help newcomers adapt to the sprint planning process.
A lot of members use different views in Monday. While many members use the “My Week” view in the sidebar, other members might prefer a Gant View, Kanban View, or a Table View without the description.
Below are the new views added to the Sprint Planning Checklist Template along with screenshots.
You can find these views below the checklist description at the top of the page, directly above the “New Item” and “Search” buttons.
In case you like any of the boards shown below, you can set it as your new default by clicking the three dots next to the tab’s name and, then, “Set as board default”.
Based on the request of some members, a new “no description” table view has been created to only show the necessary columns.
For members who prefer a kanban view, you can now “drag-and-drop” items based on their progress.
The kanban boards are separate for each week, which might not be to the liking of some, but that can help distinguish the different deadlines.
Also, combining them all in the same board isn’t possible in Monday.
For members who prefer a gant view to keep up with their duties, you can switch to the “Gant View” tab and utilize that.
Previously, members were having trouble with their sprint planning. Accordingly, tickets were created for members to reserve the time they need for sprint planning.
Although things were working out great, eventually the sprint planning time was reduced. Alongside with some unexpected adhoc requests or under estimated tickets, sprint planning wasn’t done as effectively.
Therefore, we have archived these recurring tickets and added the time to Sprints, instead.
Previously, Sprints only reserved 2 hours for catching up with forum threads during the asynchronous sprint planning process. The time reserved in Sprints, now, is 8 hours. These hours are to be utilized for sprint planning and catching up on forum updates.
For example, my commitment per sprint is 60 hours. Previously, Sprints would show 58 hours as the “Goal”; instead, now the goal is 52 hours.
These 8 hours might not all be used, but they provide a good fail-safe to ensure members have time to plan their future sprint.
Although some members might consider 8 hours too excessive for their sprint planning, it’ll remain possible for members to work-ahead on tickets. Members can coordinate with the epic owner to split large tickets or time-box large tickets during a specific sprint.
In order to ensure the changes are effective, it’s essential to monitor the usage of the sprint planning checklists and the sprint planning among cells. A recurring ticket has been created for that purpose (please do not log the time reading this onto that recurring ticket).
In order to monitor the sprint planning checklist usage for all cells, the following dashboards have been prepared on Monday.
In case members are not using their checklists, tickets will be required for these members to fill-in a form to provide clarification regarding why the checklists aren’t being used.
In order to monitor the sprint planning among cells, the follow different aspects will be observed…
The number of members who participated in the estimation session will be collected. In addition, the number who finished estimating all tickets will be collected.
Finally, the number of estimated tickets and the total number of tickets in the session, both, will be collected.
The asynchronous sprint planning process, when done properly should significantly reduce last minute planning and synchronous communication.
This will be collected by retrieving the number of cell members pinged during the final day of sprint planning, in each cell.
Increasing the time reserved for sprint planning is to ensure members have the chance to prepare all their tickets before the final day of the sprint planning, Monday.
Accordingly, first thing on Monday, information should be collected about the commitment of members for next sprint, while ignoring spillovers.
The number of members who have already committed at least 70% of their goal, per sprint, with new work will help determine whether members are able to plan their sprint ahead of time, or not.
The results of the monitoring will be collected and shared after 3 sprints with the team at OpenCraft.
Based on these results, decisions will be taken on whether additional changes are needed for the sprint planning process.
I already have plans to target some refactors in mind for the sprint planning process, but they are on hold until all members can get their sprints back to normal.
Hopefully, the changes described in this post will members with their overcommitments and their sprint planning.
Please be sure to use the sprint planning checklist for your sprint planning. It would help the whole team by providing more data regarding the sprint planning.